6am sushi at Tsukiji Market … yeah put it on your bucket list.

I was just browsing through travel related articles and I stumbled on this gem on “Medium.com“.  I can’t think of a single piece of writing about Sushi that was more educational and entertaining as this “Ten Commandments of Sushi” article. In Toronto, we have the “AYCE” (All you can eat) sushi concept. A couple thoughts about this …

  • It’s a phenomenal value to get your stomach filled up
  • You can try a lot of things without crushing your pocket
  • You can even sit for a couple hours to try everything.
  • It’s not even close to a real Japanese sushi experience
  • What they serve isn’t technically sushi!!

The last bullet is really the point that sticks out most to me. I love eating at “AYCE” places in Toronto, because my friends do. They also recognize that it’s not sushi. Even D* says … “I can’t actually do real sushi or sashimi”. When I think about a sushi experience, eating at Tsukiji Market was like crushing the best ceviche in Miraflores, Peru or having scotch in Scotland … a simply definitive experience.

My Tsukiji Market experience started out on a Sunday morning on a public holiday in Japan. Finding the market was easy enough since the subway drops you off directly at the Market.

What should have clued me in that things would be slow, would have been the lack of lines and lack of real bustling activity in the docks.

The market is absolutely never ever this quiet
Yep … quiet
more quiet

In fact, I thought I actually had the wrong place … thankfully signs like this one ensured me that I wasn’t crazy.

At least I’m in the right place

After all the searching, we found a couple places that had an early morning catch. This was many years ago and I wasn’t as photohappy as I am now, so I only got one picture of the plate.

Singularly the best plate of Sushi I’ve ever had. I had him remake a plate for the picture!

Having sushi at Tsukiji Market wasn’t great because of aethestics, it was great because we followed the 8 of the 10 commandments together.

  1. A full meal should take 15 minutes : I ate everything in 7 minutes. I lingered for 30 more to enjoy the time. I had two meals … one meal was served as he made the sushi … the other was made for my picture.
  2. Eat sushi for lunch not dinner : Does having it for breakfast count as not dinner? Yes, it does … yes it does!
  3. Sushi is not only about taste, but it’s about smell : There was not any super fishy smell to the meal because he sliced everything up in real time for me.
  4. Eat sushi in a small, low ceiling-ed place : This place was as small as one could get
  5. Eat sushi with your hands, not chopsticks : I was educated in this place. I used chopsticks. The chef frowned at me and said “Sushi Japanese, chopsticks Chinese!!” and it was silent for 30 seconds and then I’ve never eaten sushi with chopsticks since.
  6. Eat the sushi immediately after the chef serves it to you : A great sushi chef keeps his rice slightly warm and refuses to serve multiple pieces on a plate. He makes each one individually, places it in front of its recipient, and forces them to down it on the spot. This is why I had to pay for another meal for the photography.
  7. The chef puts on the sauce and the wasabi, you eat the sushi : This one I’ve utterly failed at. I’m Trinidadian, I like to dunk my pieces in hot sauce and soy sauce. Screw you and your judgement, but I was respectful of the chef. I ate the sushi the way he commanded me.
  8. Drink sake with sushi : That I did at 7am on a public holiday. No extra fucks were given or taken.
  9. Savor my sushi but don’t chit chat : Definitely it was initially military precision eating, but after finishing there was a bit of questions and chat. However I appreciate the time to enjoy the meal and not talk. People underestimate silence … a lot!
  10. Follow my instructions if you want to eat my sushi, otherwise my restaurant will always be full to you: Holla!!! I love it!!! Again, no compromises and no extra fucks given.

About Rishiray

Rishi Sankar is a Cloud HRMS Project Manager/ Solution Architect. Over the past 15+ years, he has managed to combine his overwhelming wanderlust with a desire to stay employed, resulting in continuing stints with 3 major consulting firms (IBM, Deloitte, Accenture). He documents his adventures around the world on "Ah Trini Travelogue" with pictures and stories from the road/tuk-tuk/camel/rickshaw. You can follow him on Twitter at @rishiray and on Facebook at "Ah Trini Travelogue . He doesn't like Chicken Curry but loves Curry Chicken and is always trying to find the perfect Trinidadian roti on the road. He also doesn't like cheese and kittens ... and definitely not together. E-mail from his blog is appreciated like a 35 yr old Balvenie at rishi@rishiray.com

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